Contesting Slavery: The Politics of Bondage and Freedom in the New American Nation

Contesting Slavery: The Politics of Bondage and Freedom in the New American Nation

by John Craig Hammond
     
 

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ISBN-10: 0813933056

ISBN-13: 2900813933053

Pub. Date: 10/02/2012

Publisher: University of Virginia Press

Recent scholarship on slavery and politics between 1776 and 1840 has wholly revised historians’ understanding of the problem of slavery in American politics. Contesting Slavery builds on the best of that literature to reexamine the politics of slavery in revolutionary America and the early republic.

The original essays collected here analyze the

Overview

Recent scholarship on slavery and politics between 1776 and 1840 has wholly revised historians’ understanding of the problem of slavery in American politics. Contesting Slavery builds on the best of that literature to reexamine the politics of slavery in revolutionary America and the early republic.

The original essays collected here analyze the Revolutionary era and the early republic on their own terms to produce fresh insights into the politics of slavery before 1840. The collection forces historians to rethink the multiple meanings of slavery and antislavery to a broad array of Americans, from free and enslaved African Americans to proslavery ideologues, from northern farmers to northern female reformers, from minor party functionaries to political luminaries such as Henry Clay.

The essays also delineate the multiple ways slavery sustained conflict and consensus in local, regional, and national politics. In the end, Contesting Slavery both establishes the abiding presence of slavery and sectionalism in American political life and challenges historians’ long-standing assumptions about the place, meaning, and significance of slavery in American politics between the Revolutionary and antebellum eras.

Contributors: Rachel Hope Cleves, University of Victoria
• David F. Ericson, George Mason University
• John Craig Hammond, Penn State University, New Kensington
• Matthew Mason, Brigham Young University
• Richard Newman, Rochester Institute of Technology
• James Oakes, CUNY Graduate Center
• Peter S. Onuf, University of Virginia
• Robert G. Parkinson, Shepherd University
• Donald J. Ratcliffe, University of Oxford
• Padraig Riley, Dalhousie University
• Edward B. Rugemer, Yale University
• Brian Schoen, Ohio University
• Andrew Shankman, Rutgers University, Camden
• George William Van Cleve, University of Virginia
• Eva Sheppard Wolf, San Francisco State University

Product Details

ISBN-13:
2900813933053
Publisher:
University of Virginia Press
Publication date:
10/02/2012
Series:
Jeffersonian America Series
Edition description:
NE
Pages:
344

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Foreword Peter S. Onuf xi

Introduction

Slavery, Sectionalism, and Politics in the Early American Republic John Craig Hammond Matthew Mason 1

Part I Slavery and Ideology, Action and Inaction

Necessary but Not Sufficient: Revolutionary Ideology and Antislavery Action in the Early Republic Matthew Mason 11

Early Free-Labor Thought and the Contest over Slavery in the Early Republic Eva Sheppard Wolf 32

"Manifest Signs of Passion": The First Federal Congress, Antislavery, and Legacies of the Revolutionary War Robert G. Parkinson 49

"Good Communications Corrects Bad Manners": The Banneker-Jefferson Dialogue and the Project of White Uplift Richard Newman 69

Caribbean Slave Revolts and the Origins of the Gag Rule: A Contest between Abolitionism and Democracy, 1797-1835 Edward B. Rugemer 94

Part II The State and Slavery

Founding a Slaveholders' Union, 1770-1797 George William Van Cleve 117

"Uncontrollable Necessity": The Local Politics, Geopolitics, and Sectional Politics of Slavery Expansion John Craig Hammond 138

Positive Goods and Necessary Evils: Commerce, Security, and Slavery in the Lower South, 1787-1837 Brian Schoen 161

Slave Smugglers, Slave Catchers, and Slave Rebels: Slavery and American State Development, 1787-1842 David F. Ericson 183

Part III Slavery, Sectionalism, and Partisan Politics

"Hurtful to the State": The Political Morality of Federalist Antislavery Rachel Hope Cleves 207

Slavery and the Problem of Democracy in Jeffersonian America Padraig Riley 227

Neither Infinite Wretchedness nor Positive Good: Mathew Carey and Henry Clay on Political Economy and Slavery during the Long 1820s Andrew Shankman 247

The Decline of Antislavery Politics, 1815-1840 Donald J. Ratcliffe 267

Commentary

Conflict vs. Racial Consensus in the History of Antislavery Politics James Oakes 291

Notes on Contributors 305

Index 309

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